Industry Spotlight

In Fireplace Design, Modern Is Hot

by Robert Elmquist

Fireplace design is going through a change.Traditional fireplace design, distinguished by its brick, logs, and position close to the floor, is being viewed by some as passé. Modern or contemporary design, characterized by a landscape-style fireplace that appears to hang midway on a wall like a piece of art and features a ribbon flame, is posting…


Marketing Maneuvers

So Much More Than Teak

by Robert Elmquist

Teak is certainly prominent in AuthenTEAK’s name, but this retailer’s product line goes far beyond wooden furniture. Atlanta-based AuthenTEAK offers a high-end and upscale mix of teak, metal, and woven collections, along with a distinctive assortment of outdoor merchandise, including televisions, rugs, grills, and kitchens.



Marketing Maneuvers

Software Solutions Provide Vital Support

by Robert Elmquist

In the rough economic climate that many independent specialty dealers face today, it is more important than ever to gain (as well as consistently maintain) control of their companies’ costs for the health of their bottom lines. Since 1980, Tyler Retail Systems has helped business owners do just that by offering innovative software specifically…


Hearth Retailer Profile

A Blueprint for Success

by Robert Elmquist

Not long ago, fireplace distributors of nevada was at the top of its game. Owners Doug and Sandy Houston had just moved their Reno, Nev., store into a gorgeous new 4,500–square-foot showroom; their satellite stores in Fallon, Nev., and Chester, Calif., were turning a profit; and they had a loyal customer base. Times were good.

In 2007, all…


Hearth Retailer Profile

MLW Stone: The Stone Expert

by Robert Elmquist

If there’s one thing that can be said about MLW Stone, it’s that it knows stone. For 40 years, the company has been importing high-end natural stone for furniture, flooring, hearth, and outdoor-construction applications from respected quarries around the world. It is part of an elite group of stone importers, and it has a loyal customer…


Barbecue/Grill Retailer Profile

A Barbecue Lover’s Paradise

by Robert Elmquist

With 27,000 square feet of combined showroom and warehouse space, Barbecue Country, Edmonton, Alberta, could certainly claim fame as one of the largest barbecue retailers in Canada. Cameron Mitchell, president, says that he would prefer Barbecue Country to be known for its reputation, however. “We feel we have a great deal of equity, based on our…


Barbecue/Grill Retailer Profile

A Most Versatile Grill

by Robert Elmquist

Sikes Cookers and Grills, Vidalia, Ga., offers a truly unique and innovative product that enables barbecue enthusiasts to cook using a variety of different methods and techniques—at the same time, on one grill. A Sikes cooker is so versatile that it can be used for grilling, roasting, steaming, searing, frying, boiling, or baking.



Showroom Showcase

Benson Stone Returns to Its Roots

by Robert Elmquist

The Benson family is the first to admit that it is not afraid to take risks.After 80 years of doing business as the Benson Stone Company in Rockford, Ill., it is always looking for ways to provide its customers with better products, better service, and a better overall shopping experience. Its 2001 move from a trendy, high-profile shopping area back…


Showroom Showcase

Extending the Outdoor Season - in Warmth and Style

by Robert Elmquist

Today’s outdoor rooms are becoming more sophisticated on every front. People have come to expect all indoor comforts to translate outdoors—from seating and decor to the latest in technology. Companies such as Infratech are making it easy and affordable to incorporate infrared heating into any outdoor setting.

Infratech, based in Gardena,…


As I See It

The King of Performance Fabrics

by Robert Elmquist

For nearly 50 years, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics (based in Glen Raven, N.C.) has been producing what has become the most recognized, proven name in performance fabrics around the globe. Glen Raven provides Sunbrella® fabrics to almost every major furniture manufacturer, continually enhancing design, style, and performance. Patio & Hearth Products…


My Turn

Five Essential Ingredients for the Perfect Outdoor Retreat

by Robert Elmquist

During these difficult economic times, individuals tend to spend less on home improvements while spending more time staying, vacationing, and entertaining at home. An appropriate strategy, this season, will be to stimulate your staff to promote outdoor living while assisting your customers in the creation of their perfect outdoor retreats.



Product Innovation

Creating Breakthrough Products

by Carol Daus

As the media’s reports on the dire state of the home-improvement industry continue,one would think that hearth manufacturers are handing out pink slips on a daily basis while halting all new product development. This is certainly not the case with Napoleon Products (Barrie, Ontario), which continues to grow while many of its competitors are…



Last Word

E-commerce: The New Frontier


Publisher's Viewpoint

Publisher’s Viewpoint - March 2009


Editor's Message

Editor’s Message - March 2009


Guest Editorial

A Change in Direction Can Lead to Urban Diversions


Industry News

Industry News - March 2009



Soapstone Steamers

South Beach–Canvas

Fusion by Caluco: A New Classic

Cabana Stripes

Disposable Gas-grill Smoker Box

Grand Floridian Cuddle Group


Eight-rib Market Umbrella With Collar Tilt

Grand Terrace Collection

Grace: Bold Modernism Wins Praise

Heat & Glo Metro: Not Grandpa’s Fireplace

Chili-pepper Grill-rack Set

Southport Natural Trellis Outdoor Rug

FiberBuilt’s Concrete Bases

Clydesdale I Wood Insert Hearth

Berkley by Meadowcraft

Sunbrella’s Mackenzie Collection

Hitzer Stoker Coal Stove

Heritage Pellet Stove

Attractive Firepit Cover

Traditional-looking Masonry at a Fraction of the Cost

Safari Collection

Heritage VCS400 Cart-model Grill

Hampton Table


Morsø 7644

Al Fresco ODGR400 Outdoor Vent-free Fireplace

Emory by Plantation Patterns

Morsø 8188 on Pedestal

Sealaska Natural Living’s Spring Premier

Fuego Modular

Exuma Cabana

Cape Denmark

Selkirk’s Chardonnay

Affordable, Durable Outdoor Covers

EcoSmart Zeta

Norway Collection


New Two-sided Fire

Selkirk’s Bordeaux

Alpine Massive Soapstone Wood Stove

EcoSmart Traditional Grate


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